TOEFL Listening Practice: Take a Free TOEFL Listening Test with Answers & Learn 7 Critical Tips for a High TOEFL Listening Score
In this guide you can take a free TOEFL listening test with answers, learn 7 critical TOEFL listening tips, and TOEFL listening general exam information to help you prepare successfully for your TOEFL listening test. This page contains everything you need to know and the essential skills for a high listening score.
First off, if you're looking to take a free TOEFL listening practice test or are just curious what taking an official TOEFL listening test is like, then click the START TOEFL listening SAMPLE TEST button below.play_circle_outline Start TOEFL listening Sample Test
Next up is a list of all our TOEFL listening questions where you can study each question at your own pace. To start a free TOEFL listening test question, click the Mock Test 1 link.
TOEFL listening practice questions
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TOEFL Listening Introduction
The listening section is the second section of the TOEFL iBT test. It contains 2-3 tasks. Each task contains the following:
- 1 conversation: 2-3 minutes between two people
- 2 lectures: 4-6 minutes of either a professor delivering a speech or a professor interacting with students
- conversation: 5 questions
- lecture: 6 questions
So each task contains 17 questions and there are a total of 34-51 questions in the entire listening section. You will have 10 minutes in which to complete these 17 questions in each task.
This does not include the time you spend on listening to the lectures or the conversation. The entire listening section (including time spent listening) will take you between 60 - 90 minutes to complete.
On the listening test, once you submit your answer, you
CANNOTgo back to it like you can on the reading test. Therefore, you cannot skip questions like on the reading test, so you may need to guess an answer if you get stuck. You cannot afford to spend too much time on one question as you may run out of time and potentially miss easy questions, so if you DO get stuck, unfortunately, you HAVE to move on.
How to Prepare for the TOEFL Listening Test
Many teachers will tell you to listen to spoken English from multiple sources such as English TV channels/radios as much as possible. This is not the most efficient way to study TOEFL listening! The type of material in the TOEFL® iBT is academic. The conversations and lectures in the Listening section are of academic nature. When it comes to passing TOEFL, you will not benefit much from watching movies and listening to music in English. Therefore, the most effective way to prepare for the TOEFL listening is to listen to the types of material that you’ll encounter on the official TOEFL listening test.
How to Study TOEFL Listening With TOEFL Listening Questions
First, you need to complete a TOEFL Listening practice and check your answers. It’s important to follow the allotted time frame. If you run out of time, do not complete the remaining questions. We want to help you improve and cheating will provide you with inaccurate data.
The next two sections are broken down into steps depending on if you passed or failed the listening practice.
Please note that a pass or fail is not the normal above or below 50% mark. It all depends on what your target TOEFL score is, so some people may need to score over 80% on all sections, so anything below that would be considered a fail. However, the average should score above 60%, so we will go with that percentage for the remainder of this article.
Scored below 60%
Step 1: Listen to the same recording again. As you listen, specify the parts of the recording which you are having trouble understanding and make a note on the script (You can print out the transcript). Typically, the cause of the misunderstanding is from unfamiliar words, so look up their meaning and practice their pronunciation...If you’re having trouble, It can help to read them out loud.
Step 2: Now that you understand the unfamiliar words, read the sections of the script that you had problems understanding. This process of speaking what you hear is called “echoing” and is a type of “active listening” activity. Studies have shown it helps develop listening skills more effectively than just passively listening (passive listening).
Step 3: Take the TOEFL listening practice again and see if you can improve your score. If not...repeat steps 1 & 2 until you can fully understand the entire listening conversion/lecture.
Scored above 60%
Step 1: Re-listen to the sections of the audio where you had doubts. Maybe you were unsure about a question and guessed between two answer choices. This would be a good question to locate in the audio and learn where your doubts came from.
Step 2: Analyze the questions you got wrong. If you find you continue to get the same question type wrong, there must be a reason. It’ll be your job to figure out why you keep missing the information in the listening to answer the question correctly. A question you can ask yourself is “why wasn’t that information in my notes?”.
Follow these steps and you’ll see it works wonders
Completing the above step-by-step process should take you around 45 to 60 minutes per TOEFL listening practice. Of course, if you answered all or most questions correctly, it’ll take you much less time.
Therefore, by committing yourself to 3 hours a day, you can complete more than 50 TOEFL listening questions in less than three weeks. With this intense training, you will see a significant improvement in your TOEFL Listening score.
We have one more suggestion for you! Spread out your 3-hour listening training throughout the day with other TOEFL sections like take a TOEFL practice test or start your speaking TOEFL preparation. This is an optimal learning schedule because exposing yourself to the English language constantly and consistently each day will catapult your learning and you’ll have a much easier time taking the TOEFL test.
TOEFL Listening Tips
Here are seven tips to help you be ready for the Listening section:
- 1. Take notes while you listen. Only the major points will be tested. TOEFL listening questions will not test you on small details. For example, you won’t see questions that are about a specific year, name, or location. Instead, questions will test your understanding of key points mentioned in the lecture, so do not try to write down every detail.
- 2.Pay attention to the speaker’s tone of voice. Sometimes you will encounter questions that are about the speaker’s attitude or opinion. To answer these questions correctly, you need to pay attention to the speaker’s tone of voice. For instance, whether the speaker sounds excited, sad or confused can help you answer questions that are about the speaker’s attitude or opinion.
- 3. Listen for the main idea. You can expect that the first question after almost every lecture is the main idea (gist) question. They are very popular, so it is important to listen for the main idea. At the beginning of the listening passages, the professor usually mentions what the main topic of the lecture will be about, but sometimes the topic might be branched into something more specific. Pay attention to the main idea of the lecture at the beginning and be mindful when the topic changes.
- 4. Listen to how ideas are connected throughout the lecture. When listening to a lecture, make note of the way the ideas in the lecture are connected. In other words, how the professor organized the lecture. When you encounter a question asking you about how the lecture is organized, you can refer back to your notes. Some of the main relations between ideas include cause/effect, compare/contrast, and steps in a process.
- 5. When you don’t know the answer, do not give up. If you are unsure of the correct response, try to figure out which choice is most consistent with the main idea of the conversation or lecture. Another way is to eliminate obvious wrong answers.
- 6. Don’t skip questions The questions in the listening section must be answered in the order they are presented. If you skip a question, you will not be able to go back and answer it.
- 7. Don’t take more than 2 minutes to answer a question. Don’t take more than two minutes to answer a question. If you spend more than two minutes on a question, you might run out of time. It is not worth it. Leave time for other questions that you have more confidence on. It’s better to have an educated guess and move on than it is to miss out on potential easy questions because you ran out of time.
TOEFL Listening Free Resources
If you're planning to take TOEFL, you'll need strong listening skills to pass 3 out of the 4 sections. Because of this, it's important you train consistently every day until test day.
Below are some resources you can use to train and maintain your listening skills daily.
- BBC Learning English - http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish
- TED - https://www.ted.com/
- VOA Learning English - https://learningenglish.voanews.com/
- Scientific American - 60 seconds science - https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/60-second-science/